10 Questions with ... Matt Stone
July 23, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio by doing play-by -lay at local high school football games for our small town AM at 15. A few months later I graduated to my first show: "The Sunday Morning Polka Party." When the night girl on the FM CHR moved off to college I was given my first FM air shift at 16. I got bit by the radio bug. Then I found my way working across the country on-air and programming from State College PA, to Albany, GA, Pensacola, FL, Tupelo, MS, Fort Walton Beach, FL, Asheville, NC, Santa Barbara CA, and San Diego. Then the opportunity to do radio and live in Hawaii became a reality. I have been on island for nearly two years, overseeing the launch and programming of our sister station (The Wave @ 92fm) this past October and readying the launch of 102.7 The Beach.
1. What led to the launch of 102.7 The Beach on The 4th Of July?
Ha ha ha. That is a ridiculously long story. About two years of blood sweat and tears sums it up. We had always known we were going to make it Alternative station from the day we purchased the signal. There was a clear void for Alternative and Rock. Hell, no one here played Nirvana or STP until we arrived. After the long process of moving the frequency and getting approval to take the station island wide, we were finally ready to go in June. After we waited so long we figured why not wait a few more weeks and make the launch date a very memorable one. We decided July 4th was the day (fireworks for our launch... come on who doesn't like that idea... legends in our own minds). In the interim from June until the launch, we ran some really cool chill stuff while testing the new signal. We are actually going to create a weekend show out of the stunt format we did. It was cool!
2. Tell us about the station's signal coverage?
That's a great question. Our tower is near the top of Mauna Kea and allows us pretty solid coverage to Hilo and the south eastern portion of the island. However, the rest of the mountain blocks the signal from reaching the West Side. We are currently working on our translator to bring the station to the West Side to service Kona and Waimea. We are only a few months out from island wide coverage.
3. Explain the station's positioning statement as "The Alternative" for radio listening in Hilo and the Big Island?
We really are a radio alternative for the Big Island. I would say 90% of the songs 102.7 The Beach plays cannot be heard anywhere else on the island. There really are no other rock stations here so we are filling a void while keeping a local/surfer feel with some reggae titles that are not being played on the other local straight up reggae stations. There are three stations that play nothing but island music/reggae, one an older targeted island AC and two more contemporary island stations. So we had to be very selective in the reggae we did decide to play.
4. How much reggae music are you playing? Describe the music on Hawaii's newest radio station?
We play 25% of reggae music in most hours. We play quite a few artists that a lot of stations will not. I also have to be very careful with my level of aggressive and harder titles. While a little rock is wanted, people aren't really pissed off here. It's a happy place. The station is a blend, with Alternative core, Reggae, and touch of AAA rounding it out. To give you an idea of the station overall here are my current Power Rotation songs. Atlas Genius - If So, Iration - Back Around, Serena Ryder - Stompa, The Dirty Heads - Cabin By The Sea, New Politics - Harlem, Pepper - FKARND, and Grouplove - Ways To Go. We will go from The Black Keys to Jack Johnson, Nirvana to Thievery Corporation to Citizen Cope. Very diverse and all songs you won't hear anywhere else on the Island.
5. What is most important to you when championing new music for 102.7 The Beach?
We want to make sure that all of the songs we play are going to make it through to being recurrents and eventually gold. So we may wait a bit to add some specific records to see if they make the cut. Then there are things that are instant cores for us like local boys Pepper and Iration.
6. How is the station using social media?
We are on Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, and Twitter. We are doing our best to stay active with our new fans and interact with them instantly and in as many ways possible. Social media has also been a stellar way to grow the stations.
7. What may surprise people most about The Beach?
The fact that in any given hour you will hear at least two or three songs that will not play on ANY other FM stations in the US.
8. Tell us about living in paradise and working for Resonate Hawaii?
This is what is at the end of the rainbow man. Hawaii Island is one of the most beautiful and amazing places on Earth. This past winter my son and I had a snowball fight at the top of Mauna Kea and then went swimming at a beach that looks like a Corona commercial, all in the same day. Resonate Hawaii has been such a cool place to work. The stations shareholders are some of the best and brightest in the radio industry and have created an outstanding working environment with such a positive energy. I am honored to be a part of this thing at the start and to having been allowed the freedom of creating such a unique station for a truly visionary radio company.
9. What do you love most about your job?
I love discovering new music. Plus, I have FUN every single day. One station I worked at had hallway kickball. I mean how much cooler of a job can you get? I have never really worked a day in my life. It's not work if you love it. And I love what I do.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Music! I have to rock out daily. I love just popping on the Bose headphones and escaping into another world.
First record ever purchased?
First record I bought with my own loot... I think I was 10 and it was Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle. Singing... With my mind on my money and my money on my mind. Yeah. I remember bumping it after my parents went to sleep. Damn... Now you've got me thinking. You remember that Adam Sandler CD? With the Goat? That was one of my first records too. "Man You F#cking Whizzed That Thing" HA! Still funny!
Oddly enough it was with a bunch of my mom's friends and they took me to see Reba McIntire. I was seven or eight. From what I remember she had a pretty cool show, at least from a kid's point of view. What I remember most is that she had a ton of different outfits.
Favorite band of all-time?
This is the most difficult question of them all. It's so tough to narrow something down like that. I really spend a lot of time with different styles. My top 3 are: Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd, and Air.